The Athletics' quest to build a waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal in Oakland took a big step Friday when the city released a 3,500-page Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf told ABC7 News' Casey Pratt on Thursday that the EIR is "thorough and exhaustive, and it ensures that the project is environmentally safe and sustainable."
A's team president Dave Kaval spoke to Pratt on Friday about what the EIR means for the club and the planned project.
"It's a tremendous milestone," Kaval told Pratt. "Three years of heard work and dedicated efforts. The city, the consultants, our own internal real estate team, to get the final EIR released. Like you said, over 3,000 pages, responding to 500 comments. And now we have something that can lead to a binding vote of the city council. So we're very excited to be at this stage. It's a great moment for the project. We're not all the way there, but it's an important milestone to celebrate and focus on key next steps."
With the EIR complete, the next step is a Jan. 19, 2022 Planning Commission Hearing, with the hopes that the City Council will vote to certify the environmental report at an unknown date in February 2022.
"It's great momentum to have the environmental report out," Kaval told Pratt. "It's going to be nice to have a defined date where we can have the binding vote. That's not out there yet. We only have the first planning commission vote date. So I think it's going to be important to continue to work together in good faith with the city to achieve that on a timeline that makes sense for everybody."
While Kaval and the A's are pushing for the waterfront ballpark in Oakland, they also are pursuing a potential stadium in Las Vegas, Nev. In November, they put in an offer on a site for a ballpark, and on Thursday, the A's released a survey that noted Las Vegas would be a successful home for the team if they were to relocate. Earlier this year, MLB gave the A's permission to explore other markets to build a possible stadium.
For now, though, it appears the focus is on Oakland with the release of the EIR, an important piece of the puzzle to keep the A's in The Town.